A familiar name in the cable business will soon be heading up Ribbon Communications. Former Arris executive Bruce McClelland will become CEO of Ribbon beginning March 1. McClelland replaces former Ribbon CEO Fritz Hobbs who left the company when Ribbon merged with ECI Telecom last November.
McClelland is a long-time cable executive who spent 20 years at Arris. As CEO he led the sale of Arris to CommScope in April 2019. After that acquisition he served as COO of CommScope where he was responsible for its products and services. He also oversaw Arris’ acquisition of Ruckus Wireless and managed the integration of Brocade’s ICX campus switching business from Broadcom.
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Dick Lynch, former Verizon Communications CTO and now the chairman of Ribbon’s board of directors, described McClelland as “a technical business leader with proven history of developing and growing sustainable, diversified and profitable businesses.”
At the same time Ribbon announced its hiring of McClelland, it also appointed two new members to its board of directors — and both are from the service provider world. Joining Ribbon’s board are Krish Prabhu, a technology consultant and the former CTO and President of AT&T Labs and Steward Ewing, the former EVP and CFO of CenturyLink.
When Ribbon merged with ECI last year the company said it was planning to broaden its portfolio of products and was looking to grow its data and optical networking businesses. It also said it saw 5G as a big opportunity because operators will need to make investments in the networking layer.
Ribbon, which was formed by the 2017 combination of Genband and Sonus, had traditionally been known for its voice-over-LTE products and unified communications solutions. The acquisition of ECI broadened that portfolio to include packet and optical transport systems and network functions virtualization software technologies.